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Dykstra is a Dutch surname and describes a person who lived by a dyke. The suffix "-stra" is derived from old Germanic -sater, meaning sitter or dweller. [1]

The name originates in the northern Netherlands province of Friesland. The name was originally spelled "Dijkstra". The name was "Americanized" to Dykstra after Frisian settlers arrived and settled in the United States. Many immigrants bearing the Dykstra surname arrived in the United States between 1840 and 1900, well before the United States experienced "waves of immigration." Most Dykstras were farmers and all belonged to the Dutch Reformed, and later the Christian Reformed Church. Large waves of emigrants also migrated to Brazil, namely to the town of Carambei. The Dykstra/Dijkstra family was integral to the settlement of the area and for the introduction of modern farming practices.

Many Dykstras settled in Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, California, New York, and New Jersey. Many eventually grew away from farming and settled in cities like Grand Rapids, Michigan, Holland, Michigan, and Chicago, Illinois. They became a very successful bunch in businesses such as medicine, dentistry, waste management, banking, and architecture.

People with the surname[edit]

See also[edit]

  • Dijkstra, for a list of people with that surname


  1. ^ "Dijkstra (y)". Nederlandse Familienamenbank (in Dutch). Meertens Instituut. Retrieved 20 December 2012.